in Touch with Fleurie's Feminine Side
2010 Roilette Fleurie Cuvée Christal
The Little-Known Coudert Rarity (Well Under $20)
Alain Coudert's Domaine de la Roilette is one of Beaujolais' cult producers, most well-known for his Cuvée Tardive that needs a decade in the cellar.
Today, though, we provide you with a little pre-party.
I've written this previously: The 1999 Roilette Cuvée Tardive that I had in 2007 was hands-down the best Beaujolais I've ever had. It was velvety, Rhône-like and still young.
Yes, Roilette's Tardive is famous for its meatiness, its structure and its ageworthiness. It holds more in common with the masculine Beaujolais Cru Moulin-à-Vent, which is no accident - the area that Tardive is sourced from was part of Moulin-à-Vent until the appellation was redrawn in the 1920s.
And yes, you need about a decade of patience for the Tardive to come into its full glory.
But Alain Coudert makes more than the Tardive and today we present a little-known Coudert bottling that rarely (never?) makes it to the U.S. - the 2010 Clos de la Roilette Cuvée Christal. Our small parcel represents the U.S.'s entire allocation.
The Christal offers earlier drinking as well as a price tag that challenges just about any concept of value out there: $18.95 a bottle, down to $17.50 each on six-packs.
For the rest of the week (or until the wine runs out) we'll move solid cases at $200.00 a pop, so $16.67 a bottle. For the Beaujolais geek, for the thoughtful and thirsty palate, we're not sure it gets better than this.
The Christal also offers a different perspective on Coudert's winemaking as well as Fleurie itself. The Cuvée Christal is silken, feminine, more softly juicy and full of bright, perfumed red fruits.
Fleurie is commonly considered the most feminine Cru in Beaujolais, and if the house's Tardive bottling throws that notion out the window to a large degree, the Christal offers essentially a look at this classic conception, though through the lens of Roilette.
I'm told that the vinification of Christal doesn't differ greatly from Tardive. What IS starkly different is the terroir. While Tardive comes from clay-rich soils, Christal comes from two parcels, totaling a mere two hectares, of more typical Fleurie soils of sandy, pink granite.
It's worth mentioning that, terroir differences aside, Christal maintains Roilette's signature quite well. There's still the dark mulberry fruit, the smoke, the stony dark minerals and richness. But there's also more high-toned strawberry purfume, more incisiveness, more silky and supple tannins and a bit more petite stature overall.
The 2010 vintage presents a very good profile for a wine like Christal. Stephen Tanzer's Josh Raynolds sums up 2010 as being about "fruit, structure and energy. Kind of a dream brew, in a sense." There's enough stuffing in this to put it away for a few years at least, but 2010 will likely not be the distance runner that 05 and 09 will be, and the Christal is ideal for drinking now.
There's also plenty of acidity to make this refreshing and hugely food friendly - which is exactly what Beaujolais excels at. A good chill in the 96+ heat tomorrow isn't a bad idea at all.
At under $17 on the solid-case purchase, this is the type of bottle that you want to have around IN QUANTITY for the next few years. This bottling isn't available anywhere else in the country, and we took a substantial portion of the entire production with hopes that we can keep it around for ourselves, too, but it's been well-established in the responses to our previous offers that there's a BIG following for Roilette.
To order, please email us at email@example.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Crush Wine & Spirits
Special Email Bottle Price: $18.95
No compare-at available
Special Email 6-Pack Price: $105.00 ($17.50 / btl)
Special Email 12-btl Case Price: $200.00 ($16.67 / btl)
Christal is in stock!
NET | No further discount